The Quebec police believe the two bodies that have just been found north of Mont Tremblant belong to entrepreneur Stéphane Roy and his 14-year-old son Justin, who had been missing for more than two weeks.
Roy, the owner of the Quebec-based tomato production company Savoura, was reported to the police as missing along with his son on July 10 after they failed to return from a fishing trip. The provincial police had been conducting aerial and ground searches involving more than 90 people in hopes of finding the pair.
Search forces working with the investigation included the Sûreté du Quebec (SQ), the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association.
Officers combed through an enormous area spanning more than 20,000 square kilometres of dense woods in the Northern Laurentians, the destination where Roy’s personal helicopter had been headed.
On July 25, the SQ announced on their Twitter account that a helicopter involved in the aerial search had located a fallen aircraft in the Lac Valtrie area north of Mont Tremblant Park. The aircraft was reportedly a helicopter matching the description of the one belonging to Roy, a white R-44 model. A ground search team was immediately deployed to look for Roy and his son.
Less than an hour later, the SQ tweeted that the team had found two bodies in the area.
Malheureusement, l’équipe déployée sur le terrain a retrouvé deux personnes décédées. Tout porte à croire qu’il s’agirait des deux occupants de l’appareil, M. Stéphane Roy et son fils. L’enquête sur les circonstances de l’événement est en cours. Une identification formelle suivra
— Sûreté du Québec (@sureteduquebec) July 25, 2019
Although the bodies have not yet been officially identified, police believe they belong to Roy and his son based on their proximity to the crashed helicopter as well as the general location where they were found.
Family receiving condolences
In an interview with CBC, Daniel Roy, the brother of the missing businessman, told reporters that the family had been holding out hope even as the days passed with no word.
“To us, it was unrealistic to even think that the worst had happened,” he said.
Daniel said that the family was “saddened by the news” but was grateful that the bodies were eventually found since they’d feared the two would remain missing forever. He also expressed his thanks to the officers involved in the search and spoke warmly of his brother, calling him “someone who had a big heart.”
He also mentioned 14-year-old Justin. “We’ve spoken a lot about the president of Savoura, of my brother, but we especially can’t forget Justin, my nephew, the little cousin of my children,” he said,
Following the announcement of Roy’s death, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to express his condolences to the family. “My heart goes out to the family and loved ones of Stéphane Roy and his son Justin,” he wrote. “Quebecers are keeping you in our thoughts tonight.”
My heart goes out to the family and loved ones of Stéphane Roy and his son Justin. Quebecers are keeping you in our thoughts tonight. https://t.co/MxwCdNMHtO
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 26, 2019
Quebec Premier François Legault also tweeted a heartfelt message to pay his respects to Roy’s family. “In the name of all our government, I want to offer my most sincere condolences to the family, the loved ones and all the employees of Savoura,” he wrote in French, attaching an affectionate picture of Roy with his son. “All of Quebec is behind you in these difficult times.”
Je suis attristé d’apprendre le décès de Stéphane Roy et son fils Justin. Au nom de tout notre gvt, je tiens à offrir mes plus sincères condoléances à la famille, aux proches et à tous les employés de @TomatesSavoura. Tout le Québec est derrière vous dans ces moments difficiles. pic.twitter.com/84RGNwVBkR
— François Legault (@francoislegault) July 25, 2019